Getting boys (and girls) excited about writing/ with Apoligia's Writers in Residence

Thursday, August 31, 2017

When it comes to writing, my boys aren't usually jumping up and down with excitement. Instead they tend to start whining and complaining about how it's too hard and they can't think of anything to write.

I have been on a mission this year to get them excited and interested in writing. Not only do I want them to realize how essential it is for the rest of their lives, but I want them to find enjoyment in it also, as they pen their latest adventures and write about past memories.

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Last year my boys came to look forward to writing as they gathered with their cousins( who are homeschooled as well) to write a different story each week. They loved it! And actually looked forward to sharing their themed stories each week!

Unfortunately their sentence structure still suffered and I had to screen their stories each week as they contained a lot of words like: poop, fart, butt and other inappropriate words that boys( and girls) tend to like to write about for some reason, at least mine do. ( hands covering face emoji)

They gained a little bit more of an interest in writing through our story time each week but I knew they needed a better foundation if they were ever going to go beyond writing about pooping and farting. What can I say, my boys are just goofy, normal boys! Just look at these pictures! Ha!

I started looking for a writing curriculum or program that would help us in this area, when I came upon the opportunity to check out Apoligia's Writers in Residence student text and workbook. 

We have gotten through most of the first unit and are already learning so much...together!

I love that I can incorporate both of my boys who are in 5th and 7th grades respectively. I try to lump them together whenever I can and this program has been working great in helping me kill 2 birds with one stone.;)  Because Volume 1 is focused on 4th grade and up, and is geared towards teaching multiple children at different grade levels, it was perfect for us!

I also love that the program stresses to tailor your expectations to each child's learning ability and to challenge them, but not overwhelm them.

We started off  in Volume 1 by being introduced to some great Christian Writers and gaining some encouragement in writing from them.  Then we went on to learn the 6 Traits of a writing model and introduction to the writing process.

The beginning of the book starts out with a great guide for us teachers on how to use the book and some helpful ideas, suggestions and schedules to implement. ( I will take all the help I can get!)

There are 6 Units in the whole book, which each focus on ways to help your young writers build an important foundation in language arts to be able to write easy to read, cohesive stories that get their readers attentions.

At first glance of the thick book, I was a little worried it would be too detail oriented and I would have to put a lot of time in to understand how to use it with my boys, but I have to say that it has been so easy and uncomplicated! Everything has been so concise and well laid out. Pretty much open the book and go!

Like I said earlier, I am all about condensing as much into one subject as possible. So I absolutely love that Writers in Residence is a writing- focused language arts program! Language Arts and Writing all in one book!? Count me in!

Not only are my boys gaining the important skills they need to be able to write well in their everyday lives, but they are also being prepared for the heavy writing that comes in high school and college.

Each lesson has been so helpful in challenging my boys to go beyond their "normal" vocabulary and dive into new words, ideas, and creative techniques in writing,  while also making it fun for them!

If you have been scratching your head trying to figure out how to get your boys or girls on the path towards understanding and enjoying writing, I want to highly recommend Apologia's Writers in Residence to you! Not only are my boys learning so much, but as I am finding with so much of homeschooling; I am learning as well alongside of them!

To recap, here are the highlights of Writers in Residence Volume 1/ Apprentice

1. All- In- One Student Text and Workbook ( Comes with Answer Key)

2. Can be used for 1 or more students and at different grade levels. Also great for Writing Groups and Co-ops. 

3. Takes a lot of pressure off of you as the teacher, and gives you 
everything you need to give your students a comprehensive understanding of the importance of writing without all the guesswork and stress.

4. Uses realistic writing tasks that students will use in their everyday lives.

5. Has an apprentice log which gains them points that they can redeem for an award. 

6. Incorporates Language Arts, Grammar, Spelling, Vocabulary,  Writing and so much more in one curriculum.  Win!!

7. Focuses on motivating students so they are actually paying attention.

8. Gives them instruction in each lesson that has real purpose and is immediate and relevant to their lives. 

9. WIR takes students on a journey as novice apprentices and teaches them to use the tools of their trade to eventually become a master craftsman of words. 

10. Apologia is Bible based and encourages students in knowing that "God wants them to find pleasure in using their creative gifts!" 

I don't know about you but I get tired of fighting with my kids to write and hear their moans and complaints when I tell them it's time for writing/ language arts. I know that learning to write clear, and cohesive sentences is an integral part of their education which will definitely be something they need to use in their everyday lives.  Not only do I want them to gain skills that they need to write and compose stories and papers, but I want them to enjoy the process as well. (As much as possible;)

As we have begun to use Writers in Residence I am finding my reluctant students are much more eager to begin our lessons and instead of dreading writing they are starting to enjoy it and understand the importance of it.

I hope sharing my insight will be helpful to you if your head is swirling in a sea of curriculum; wondering which one to choose. I also hope this will help your students gain the tools they need to be creative writers and get out of the rut of ho hum and/or stressful scenarios of frustrated teachers and students.

There is no foolproof curriculum and magic answer to what will work for each of us and our children, but I know I sure love hearing what works or doesn't work for other homeschoolers as I consider my choices and try to make educated decisions for my children's education.

Let me know if this was helpful to you!

Have you used Writers in Residence or anything else from Apologia?

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